When Warner Music Group’s Rhino arm announced its licensing of the Bee Gees catalogue in 2006, hopes were high, and the campaign’s initial release certainly didn’t disappoint. The Studio Albums: 1967-1968 contained expanded mono/stereo editions of the group’s first three “canon” albums with a generous amount of unissued tracks. The promise of more collections to come from the Brothers Gibb archives was particularly enticing. Then, the 30th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever came and went, with a remastered edition of the seminal soundtrack album released with no additional material or new packaging. After that, a lavish boxed set devoted to the Odessa album arrived, but nothing else has emerged except for a couple of decent greatest hits reissues and a 4-CD box set, Mythology, that hit stores in 2010 after a one-year delay.
Another Bee Gees title is reissued tomorrow, December 6, and it’s a bit of a surprise. 1975’s Main Course was the first “disco” album from Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, and despite containing such hits as “Nights on Broadway” and “Jive Talkin’,” it’s been unavailable since the original Polydor CD went out of print. (A small number of the Bee Gees’ Polydor albums were immediately reissued under the Rhino banner in 2006 with no additional content or new packaging. Main Course, oddly, wasn’t among them.) With no fanfare at all, Rhino’s budget Flashback line has restored Main Course to the catalogue. As of tomorrow, the Bee Gees classic will be available once again for around five bucks from your local retailer. It’s a mystery why, at the very least, all of the remaining Bee Gees titles haven’t gotten this treatment; titles like 2 Years On, Here at Last and To Whom It May Concern (just to name a few) all remain out-of-print and expensive in the secondhand market.
Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing and pre-order link!
The tight, immaculately-produced R&B/dance-styled Main Course marked the turning point from balladry to rhythmic, beat-driven disco (with those unmistakable falsetto vocals!) for the Bee Gees, and paved the way for 1976’s Children of the World (with “You Should Be Dancing,” “Love So Right” and “You Stepped Into My Life”) and then 1977’s landmark Saturday Night Fever. It’s likely that Main Course hasn’t been remastered from the original CD; the packaging, too, appears to be identical, with the Rhino Flashback logo in place of the Polydor one. Still, this long out-of-print Bee Gees classic is well worth your $4.99. The track listing and pre-order link follows!
Bee Gees, Main Course (RSO 4807, 1975 – reissued Rhino Flashback, 2011)
- Nights on Broadway
- Jive Talkin’
- Wind of Change
- Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)
- All This Making Love
- Country Lanes
- Come On Over
- Edge of the Universe
- Baby As You Turn Away
Robert Lett says
No bonus tracks?
Joe Marchese says
Unfortunately, the Flashback titles are almost always straight replicas of previous issues of a title. MAIN COURSE appears to be just a repackaging of the original Polydor CD, with no bonus material or added printed content.
That is correct. I used to be involved with the Flashback line, along with Universal's budget line. These releases are almost never remastered. If it's an album, it's just a reactivation of a previously-released title. They're intended to be sold in the budget bins at stores, or in non-traditional places such as truck stops, etc. If a CD previously existed, then most of the original packaging elements are restored. If it's an album that was never on CD, the booklets will usually be sparse. Many compilations on Flashback include brief liner notes. Most budget compilations only feature a couple of "hits" so as not to eat into the profit margins of their full-line counterparts. They're intended for the casual fan/impulse buyers. I don't know the current situation, but budget product was originally sold only in box lots of 30, and were a one-way sale. Flashback was the one line that allowed returns and loose pick quantities of their releases.
Insightful … thanks John. And thanks Second Disc for an implicit answer (in the opening lines of this article) to my question whether there was anything beyond the "1st", "Horizontal" and "Idea" 2cd's and the "Odessa" 3cd. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odessa_(album)#Deluxe_edition
Rejane Hinkle says
Well I was wondering what they would release next but I wanted an expanded release, can't imagine I would buy this I already own it!
Kerry Gordon says
Main Course is the Bee Gees best album (and one of the best of the 70's).
What is taking so long to provide a remastered version? Is there a rights, management or label issue that I am unaware of?